Not considered good enough for his NRL club's top 17, South Sydney enforcer Jaydn Su'A is still backing himself to step up for Queensland again in the State of Origin series opener.
And Su'A reckons he can thank the man who dropped him from NRL duty - Rabbitohs mentor Wayne Bennett - for ensuring he gets the chance to don the Maroons jersey again.
The South Sydney enforcer featured in all three games of Queensland's against the odds 2-1 Origin series win over NSW last year.
But Su'A admitted he thought he was at long odds to retain his Maroons jersey after being overlooked by Bennett for South Sydney's NRL win over Parramatta on Saturday.
No wonder the Rabbitohs battering ram was pinching himself after being named on Monday in a 20-strong Maroons squad for the June 9 series opener in Townsville.
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In fact, Su'A is not only expected to feature in the Maroons' 17 but the 23-year-old is tipped to be promoted from the bench to the starting back row if Melbourne's Felise Kaufusi can't beat a tripping ban at the NRL judiciary on Tuesday night.
"I was shattered when I got dropped [by Bennett]. It hurt a lot," Su'A told NRL.com.
"I did think it would hurt my [Origin] chances but I was still optimistic.
"Any chance I get to pull on the Queensland jersey I will be up for it."
Oddly, Bennett appears to be the key to his Maroons retention.
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Instead of kicking stones following his last round snub, Su'A saluted Bennett, saying a glowing endorsement from the supercoach to Queensland mentor Paul Green made the difference when the Ampol State of Origin I squad was selected.
"Wayne knows what I can do, and knows what I bring to this arena," Su'A said.
"I have had a chat with Wayne and I know there are a few things that I have to work on.
"But they are only small adjustments and hopefully I can get back to the best footy I can play and do what I can do for the state."
Green confirmed Bennett provided a convincing argument when he rang to ask why he should pick Su'A again for Queensland.
But Green revealed the Rabbitoh was a "bit shocked" when he called to confirm he would suit up in Maroon.
"He wasn't picked for Souths for his talent or ability. It was more about his effort and attitude," Green said.
"They are things in his control so I am pretty confident he can find the motivation to fix those. It is such a big game for us so I am pretty confident [about his selection].
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"He's done it before. We have to make sure he brings that aggression. But considering what he has been through those are the good calls to make as a coach."
Su'A kept his fingers crossed Kaufusi would take his place in the starting line-up.
"Let's be real, he (Kaufusi) would be a massive loss for Queensland," said the ex-Bronco, who has played 71 NRL games since his 2016 debut.
"This is the biggest arena in the world so to be able to get a chance to run out again, I can't put that into words. If I get a chance my role will be simple - bring that aggression, have a real go.
"I just know that if I get the chance I will do the state proud."